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Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012) was born in Newark, New Jersey to entertainment executive Robert Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Cissy Houston, whose ultra high, haunting voice is heard in Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." Whitney began singing in the church choir, but she began her public career as a fashion model after being discovered while she accompanied her mother at gigs at Carnegie Hall. She became one of the first women of color to be on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. She skyrocketed to fame as a singer and, eventually, an actress, but she began using drugs after meeting her husband, singer Bobby Brown in 1989. She struggled with her addiction to crack for years. She died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in a bathtub, and the official cause of death was "accidental drowning." About a month after her death, the Los Angeles County coroner elaborated, stating that "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use" contributed to her drowning.

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